The London Palladium
Just when I think then band might be getting a bit long in the tooth and showing signs of its age, the UOGB will pull one out of the hat and knock out a really great show, full of energy, irreverence and general showbiz pizzaz....and while I'm amazed that we're still getting away with our ridiculous career, its worth remembering we have been at it a long time. For non UK readers I should explain, the London Palladium is, for Brits of a certain age, an iconic venue, it's right in the middle of London's West End. It is steeped in old style showbiz history: it's here that the Beatles played in front of royalty for the first time in 1963, telling them to "rattle their jewellery": its here that Judy Garland and Danny Kaye played legendary shows in the '50's and many other huge stars have performed here. It has been the home of famous Brit tv shows like 'Sunday Night at the London Palladium' and the 'Royal Variety Show'.
While the venue is steeped in history, its not that large in terms of a modern entertainment venue (about 2500) - certainly not as big as the O2, or the Wembley Arena where the really big acts will play, we've played venues this size in Germany. But its still a genuine thrill and a landmark gig for us and truly great to see one's pic in lights in the West End (thats enough showbiz insincerity). Its also highly weird that, as a British band we haven't played in London, playing our regular show, for at least two years - unless I'm suffering from gig amnesia? (gig pedants please confirm if this is not so).
So walking in the door, what do I see first but a poster of my old mucker: Des O'Connor - I met him once
Strolling up to the Val Parnell bar, I espied this bust of Bruce Forsyth - now in his eighties, he has been a fixture on British tv for more than sixty years, he was the host of 'Sunday Night at the London Palladium', a well known variety show during the 1960's and even recently, he has hosted 'Strictly Come Dancing' a year or two ago.
We had a quick photo session in the Val Parnell bar before the show, Hester gives the camera a foxy look!
The second box up is the Royal box with the coat of arms underneath it, it is here, that a member of the royal family (typically, the one who has drawn the shortest straw) will sit during the Royal Variety Show - a televised annual spectacular cheese fest.
The band practices a move during soundcheck, while your trusty correspondent sneaks a pic!